Donâ€™t Do Something, Just Stand There!
By: Eddie Clements
Barack Obama has made the classic mistake of the con-man, falling for his own con. His whole candidacy was symbolic, and he keeps making campaign-style speeches. The press was enamored of the man not for his expertise but for his being black, while being â€œclean and articulateâ€, and thinking he could actually be president one day.
The day came too soon. Lacking experience at doing anything but herding malcontents as a community organizer and bloviating as a pretend senator who eliminated his competition for the job Chicago-way, he became surrounded by sycophants and opportunists who agreed with the press. Seeing advantages for themselves if he won the presidency, they went along for the ride. Well, they got what they wanted. The sycophants might get fired at some point, but they already went farther faster than they ever dreamed possible. Now, Obamaâ€™s gotta deliver.
Unfortunately, he canâ€™t. He doesnâ€™t even realize his candidacy was symbolic, after months of the sycophants telling him he was for real. Add to the mix the Obama ego that managed to make it to Harvard Law, be elected to the Harvard Law Review presidency, and actually be offered a teaching position, and viola! The formula for a national nightmare was created.
Now he thinks he must actually DO something. The press canâ€™t tell the President-Elect he is just symbolic. â€œJust stand there and let us take pictures of you shaking hands with (name of head-of-state here), donâ€™t actually try to formulate policy.â€ Nooooo, that wonâ€™t fly. Too late, heâ€™s there.
This is much bigger than Obama knows, but he actually believes he can pull it off; the hubris of the would-be savior. He has been told he is the savior, the messiah (I refuse to capitalize; there is only One Messiah). What reason is there to disbelieve it, when he has graduated from Harvard Law? Somebody should have told him about affirmative action, northern liberal schools, and foolish utopian visions. Long ago someone should have said, â€œEasy, there, cowboy, you still have a lot to learn.â€
So Obama has begun. He has to name cabinet positions â€“ Clinton-era retreads and experts at escaping accountability. He doesnâ€™t know anyone on his own. The guy hasnâ€™t lived anywhere long enough or worked enough to develop trusted relations or shared experience with anyone qualified to hold top government posts. Whoâ€™s he gonna call, some of those guys he hung out with at Columbia, who wonâ€™t appear on camera? We might add they probably will soon become unpersons; they should probably move to â€¦. well, outside the U.S. if they want to stay healthy.
Be clear on this: there is not so much an economic crisis it canâ€™t be overcome as there is a crisis of confidence because there is no steady, experienced hand at the helm that will steer the ship of state through the storm successfully. All the media blather in the world canâ€™t cover Obamaâ€™s ill preparation for the task he has taken on: Leader of the Free World. Problem is, half the country knew it going in, and more will see as the faÃ§ade is ripped away by harsh reality. No, the press will support Obama unconditionally, but his performance will betray his unpreparedness. Can the country survive it?
Most likely we will; Americans are amazingly resilient. But the real problem may be that in a nuclear world a simple error of diplomacy can mean devastation. American resiliency canâ€™t overcome long-lingering radioactivity from bombs, with accompanying destruction of too much infrastructure. Individuals will find ways to cope, but the nation could be lost. But we can table that for later discussion. The immediate problem is economic, which mostly means confidence, which mostly means ability to make long-term plans.
His latest spending proposal calls for more printed money, more regulation, and more â€œsacrificeâ€. He says that good ideas are welcomed, from Democrats and Republicans alike. One has been offered by a Republican: suspend taxes for some period, three months, six months, or a year. It sounds plausible to me. Transaction cost of such a plan should be lower than mailing out checks. But that plan would not achieve the precious scheme of income redistribution dear to liberals. Liberals want to confiscate wealth from the successful among capitalists and dole out cash to lower income individuals or families.
Obama says that will â€œbuild the economy from the bottom upâ€. Trouble is, this capital will be spent on consumer goods of various kinds, and not the type of consumer goods that will help the economy long-term. Liberals wish to ignore the findings of their own liberal social scientists that lower social classes, the type that will receive income from government handouts, will not postpone immediate gratification to achieve long-term goals. Meaning, they are not likely to spend on education, pay down debt, or mortgages, purchase durable goods, or pool capital for investment. While a few consumer goods or services such as toys or repairs might be purchased, these will only affect some short-term economic interests.
Mr. Obama laments the loss of jobs in manufacturing. He has not been told from reliable sources that manufacturing in the U.S. is a risky proposition due to burdensome tax and regulatory requirements from an alphabet soup of state and federal agencies. Obama proposes more regulations, but he said so in the context of financial oversight during his 01/08/09 speech. A more telling example is earlier statements that the coal industry must burn â€œclean coal technologyâ€. Much pollution is removed from coal burning now. The closer the percent removal of pollutants rises toward 100%, the cost of removal rises exponentially. Thus his statement that it would bankrupt energy companies burning coal is accurate.
The above illustrates the tendency to get caught up in the details. The real problem is, Obama is president for the next four years. Our problem as citizens is how to minimize the damage he will cause, due to his inadequate preparation for the job. We will not be able to stop presidential appointments to positions that will affect U.S. policy and procedures for a long time to come (see the link below). Just as important will be the Supreme Court appointments, or perhaps â€œdisappointmentsâ€ would be more appropriate.
There is hope. Congress understands they must be elected. The need to elect members to Congress that will obstruct Obamaâ€™s and the leftâ€™s uninformed vision for Americaâ€™s future is imperative. Identifying candidates who have the courage to stand and deliver must be identified and supported, now as never before. Nothing less than our national fate hangs in the balance. We canâ€™t depend on Obama to do what Americans have traditionally preferred government to do: little or nothing.